I meant to send you several postcards from Squam. Blogging, tweeting… I was going to show you what it was like while I was there, but the combination of teaching and being busy and having spotty wi-fi meant that I didn’t. (Also, there was an afternoon where I had to choose between a swim in the lake and a blog entry, and you lost. I’m not sorry either.) Sadly for you, that means there were no postcards. Happily for you, I’m now at home, and you get all of them at once.

#1. Squam is pretty. 

#2. So pretty. (That was our dock. Every cabin has one, and we made the most of ours.)

#3. Somebody yarnbombed the snot out of the place. Everywhere you went, the woods, the classrooms, doorknobs… Yarn-o-rama.  Makes a knitter feel at home, let me tell you, though I can’t stop wondering who’s job it was to keep track of where they all were and remove them after.

#4. There were pom-poms hanging everywhere. You’d be walking through the woods and there one would be.  A little yarnish note.

#5. If you ever have to go on a road trip with anyone, go with us. Not only were my carmates kind, funny and easy-going (and yes, that car is full of yarn)… we did a car lunch that you would have died for. 

#6. Like fresh lemonade.

#7. Like little individual pasta salads in wee mason jars, and camping cutlery with real cloth napkins, tied up with a little hand-dyed silk.

#8. Like a cheese tray and home made crackers. (Sheep’s milk cheese, naturally.)

#9. Denny even made lavender wands for us to hang from the suit hooks of the van. (Heaven knows we have no suits.)

#10. The baby we took with us (Marlowe) was a constant source of entertainment and joy. (That smile? That was on her face for all 5 days, including the 11 hour car ride each way.)

#11. She even liked going to classes.

#12. Except when she looked like this.

#13. That means that mostly, her mum looked like this.

#14. We shared a cabin with Amanda (aka Soulemama, though I like first names, don’t you?) and it turns out I like her as much as her blog.  Despite our different lives (she has a farm, I have a city) we share many values, especially around families, the very young, and trying to live in a way that treads lightly on the earth and those that we meet.  I haven’t told her yet, but we’re going to be pen pals.

#15. It turns out that one thing that Amanda and I have in common is a complete and total lack of direction. We were separately lost in the woods in exactly the same way a few times, and arrived at the cabin relieved that we weren’t going to have to live out among the trees, wandering hopelessly and eating bark and lichen. It was eventually decided that we must never set out together, alone. We were grateful.

#16. We taught, we talked, we ate, we laughed, and that means that my friends looked like this.

I love them. I love Squam. Today, there is laundry, and no groceries, and an exploding inbox, and a dirty bathroom – but before this, there was a lake, and clever students, and a beautiful space and … I love Squam.  I wish you’d been there.

PS. #17. On the first day there, the Torontonians learned about ticks and were repulsed and afraid. Ticks are far more common in the US than they are in Ontario, and we were absolutely flabbergasted by the laissez faire attitude our American friends showed towards a bloodsucking arachnid that stuck its head in your body and was hard to remove. We spend four days fearing them and looking for them and feeling them crawl on our bodies, even though they weren’t there.   On the last night, we breathed a sigh of relief that we’d avoided the disgusting things entirely.  That was moments before a half dressed Denny burst out of the bathroom screaming "TIIIIIICCCCCCKKKK!!!"  and there one was, stuck to her leg.  She closed her eyes, we all smothered her in love, and Megan removed it from her with tweezers while we all said helpful things like "Be sure and get the head!" (We heard that from someone.  Seemed central.) The tick was removed (as well as the head) Denny took a shower and was rewarded with a big glass of cider.  Peace reigned for 10 minutes until I felt a little lump on my leg under my pants.  I pulled up my pant leg and saw it.
TICK.  The hysterical scene repeated itself.  Megan screamed "I’LL GET THE TWEEZERS" and Jen yelled "I’LL GET THE CAMERA."

Denny and I have 96 combined years on the planet and we each got our first tick in 15 minutes.  We feel lucky to have escaped with our lives. 

PPS – Because someone will worry. Not a deer tick. No risk of Lyme Disease. Disgusting, but not dangerous.  Thanks for caring. 

163 thoughts on “Postcards

  1. No laissez faire attitude from the American regarding ticks. Ew. Ick. HATE. THEM. and FEAR. THEM.
    Squam looks lovely. Maybe someday.

  2. I really, really, really think you need to reinvent Squam in Europe – in Switzerland if possible. Do you have any idea how many people over here would think they had died and gone to heaven if you could do that one teeny weeny little thing for us!! Pleeeeease!!!

  3. What a lovely place – good times with friends,old and new!
    I’ve read that the best way to remove a tick is by covering it with a cotton ball drenched in veggie oil. This supposedly makes them leave your flesh of their own accord so that there is no possibility of their little head being left embedded in you when you pull them off. sorry, that’s gross. We have ticks in northern NY and, unfortunately, increasingly, we have lyme disease.
    You’re probably safe at home now, but keep the cotton ball in mind for the next time at Squam.

  4. No laissez faire attitude from this American regarding ticks. Ew. Ick. HATE. THEM. and FEAR. THEM.
    Squam looks lovely. Maybe someday.

  5. I really, really, really think you need to reinvent Squam in Europe – in switzerland if possible. You have no idea how many poeple would think they’d died and gone to heaven if you did! Pleeeeease!!!

  6. Really thought it was going to read “Denny was rewarded with a big glass of WINE….I’d still be drinkin’ it.

  7. I guess y’all don’t have chiggers up that far north either. Reckon we have all those nasty beasts to ourselves.

  8. no ticks in toronto? another great reason to move to Canada. but there are ticks in the rural areas, right? otherwise I’m going to be even more cross that Grandpa didn’t move to Alberta when he had the chance.

  9. Other ticks have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. You didn’t want to know that. Stay healthy.
    And aside from being ticked off, what a beautiful, wonderful place and experience there!

  10. I have bad news for you – ticks are common in Northern Ontario, workihng as a geologist in the woods we’d regularly get 30-40 climbing on us a day, and 2-4 embedded a day. Plus, they know now that wood ticks also carry Lyme 🙁

  11. The first time my brother got a tick was on the back of his neck. He went to my mom and asked her what that little thing on the back of his neck was. She looked and said, “It’s a tick.” and led him into the bathroom to remove it. He said “What’s a tick?” Mom: “It’s a little bug that sucks your blood.” Him: “LIKE A VAMPIRE??!?!? GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!!!!”

  12. Sorry that you and Denny had to have your first tick experience. So glad that you have no risk of lyme disease. Looks like wonderful fun at Squam. Wish I could have played.
    Marlow is adorable and do I correctly recognize that blanket?

  13. Yep, mild winter equaly muchos ticks. I hear that cotton ball soaked in liquid soap accomplishes the job, too (and I’ll bet a wad of soap/oil-soaked wool would also work and be easier to find with that crew.) Vaseline was the old trick, at least the one that didn’t involve fire. #thingswewishwedidn’thavetoknow

  14. Nothing worse than getting something up your pants leg. When I was a kid, we were in a sandwich shop in the middle of Pennsylvania and my mom was in the rest room. She found a bug up her leg, flipped her wig and threw her pants out of the bathroom screaming “get your father” at me and my sister. We got some funny looks!

  15. Squam looks just heavenly! I’m glad you had a good time and didn’t get too lost. Sorry about the ticks! Part of nature, really.

  16. Squam is a beautiful place, and yes, unfortunately, we have to share most of the beautiful places in NH with ticks. I hate them, but we see them so frequently now, especially that we have a dog, that I have gotten very nonchalant about just picking them off and tossing them in a bottle of rubbing alcohol (kills them). Found one on my back at the end of last tick season, ended up on 10 days of horse-pill-like antibiotics “just in case”. So far, so good.
    Glad you had fun here-come back soon! Maybe on a book tour??? 🙂

  17. Some people say all things in nature have a purpose, part of the balance in nature. Well, I wish someone would tell me the purpose of ticks!
    I’m itching, just reading about them! Signed, Minnesota resident 🙂

  18. I’m an Albertan who has lived in Maryland for ten years. We recently bought a bit of country in the city – a half-acre, mostly wooded, with a lovely house on it. I’ve had my first tick ever, and there was much freaking out.
    No pictures, though.

  19. Your tick story is too funny! And just to let you know no matter how many times you find one on you you are still allowed to freak out. They are nasty little suckers. 😉

  20. My friend use to tell me, when you get old and are looking out the window doing dishes,these are the times you will remmeber.
    Not bad I would say.

  21. I HATE ticks. I have tried very hard to figure out what their place in the universe is.. because I do believe every living thing has some sort of purpose. But Ticks???? I hate them. I remove them periodically from our cat, but when I had to remove one from my husband’s back I damn near passed out. (you wrote a lovely blog, but all we heard was TICKS)

  22. Squam looks like it was a wonderful, fabulous, fun, restful, place to be. I’m sure you enjoyed it!!
    Re Ticks: I’m a Southern girl (Georgia) who has dealt with ticks forever. Mostly on the animals – but occasionally on the humans. Unfortunately, most of the above mentioned suggestions regarding anything like oil of any sort, vaseline, soap or any of those actually works. (Neither does a match should anyone ever suggest it – which I would hope you would know better than to try regardless.)
    Funny story about a tick – I’m a single mom with a 9 year old boy and about two years ago he hollered from the shower that he had a tick on his penis. I did not believe him till he came and showed it to me. And there it was right on the end. Pulling that off was difficult for me and painful for him! (He continually gets them in his scrotum area – I personally do not understand how he does not feel them crawling into that space!!)

  23. Sounds like a wonderful trip. My son and dog are tick magnets in our own yard. It’s why I have “tick keys” everywhere for easy removal. So long as one applies it is the correct direction, the key works like a charm (as the dog never liked the look of tweezers coming at her!).

  24. Sounds like you had a great time! I do wish I had been there. Even if there were ticks.

  25. There’s nothing like hearing your youngest child say, “Hmm, I have something on my arm. OMG! IT HAS LEGS! IT HAS LEGS!” And just recently, I had to pull another off the back of my middle child. She’s old enough now that the Dr gives a strong one-time dose of antibiotic. Which she promptly threw up. Because that’s a side effect. So that was fun.

  26. Ew, yes – American here, and I too think ticks are disgusting.
    Maybe I shouldn’t tell you about the time my husband and I went hiking in Virginia, then came home and found over 100 ticks on us (both of us combined)? We spent hours, stripped down in the bathroom, freaking out and picking them off each other.

  27. I so wish I had been there with you. It looks lovely, but the question is did you finish the projects you took?

  28. In regards to Ticks…I heard that a hot match head will remove a tick far easier than tweezers. At least that is what my mom told me…she’s had many run ins with Ticks at Girl Scout Camp. I have been lucky…so far…..

  29. No fair telling us there’s a photo and then not showing us! *[pouts]*
    Squam is gorgeous – someyear, I’ll give myself the gift of joining you there. Many thanks for such lovely postcards!

  30. I’m sorry but I laughed so hard about the ticks. Living in Oklahoma and native Texan it is about the first thing you learn as a child. That and catching fireflies.
    By the way, just soak a cotton ball in soap (like Dawn) and place on tick for for 20 sec and tick is gone.
    How could we not enjoy living in the woods each summer just because we were scared of a little tick. PattiO

  31. I’m so glad you’re back! You are a very talented photographer.
    And now, I feel obligated to mention that that adorable baby should still be rear-facing when traveling in a vehicle.

  32. I believe you and Franklin Habit have companion Squam-love postings, although he didn’t mention the ticks. I’m making it a goal to be at Squam next year.

  33. Must.Squeeze.Baby.Cheeks!!!
    And now I want to go yarn bombing, just because it makes me smile.
    Glad you had such a fabulous trip.

  34. For all those posting home remedies other than tweezers Please just follow these directions, yes it takes some delicacy, and yes, you have to get close to the tick, but using other remedies such as matches, cotton balls soaked in solutions etc can cause the tick to purge (vomit) into your bloodstream before ( and if at all) it detaches putting you at higher risk for exposure to illness.

  35. So sorry about the tick, but you had that gorgeous baby with you.. so I don’t feel too bad!
    thanks for the post. I’m glad you went swimming!

  36. I do seem to remember that although ticks become scarcer further north, the biting flies and mosquitos take up the slack. Still, nothing prepares you for that first moment of discovering a little arthropod hitchhiker! Marlowe is lovely- -can’t believe how big she’s gotten in what seems like such a short time.

  37. I realy need the recipe for the pasta salad. Can you assign someone the job of posting it, or sending it out. I love the food and drink from Mason/Ball jars. That is just my thing.

  38. Wanna hear something even worse? Down south, there are species of ticks that are very small. TINY. Tiny like the head of a pin…. and they live in colonies. Encountering one means encountering hundreds. Removal is best achieved with things like duct tape so that many are gotten in one fell swoop.. or rather, one fell riiip! It also requires a visit to the doctor for a steroid shot. icky icky icky!
    Also… 8 years ago, when my dear sweet first born was at the crawling stage, I found her happily playing on the floor. It seemed she’d found a smooth round pebble and she was busily gumming away at it. I fished it out of her mouth only to discover to my horror that it wasn’t a smooth round pale little pebble. IT WAS A FULL TICK that had dropped off the dog after drinking its fill. EW EW EW EW EW!
    Now, go look at unicorns riding rainbows to bleach that story from your mind…

  39. Marlowe seems to love her blanket and why wouldn’t she, it’s as gorgeous as she is!
    I spend a lot of time at Pinery Provincial Park which is in Ontario, just an hour west of London and I can confirm, Ontario has ticks!

  40. We get those nasty things here every spring. So far I have found them prior to the tweezers removal stage (just crawling around). Just seeing one on someone else (or reading about it) causes the itch to begin. Didn’t know not to use a match head though, so, see, I learned something!
    I too, would love the pasta salad recipe. I am into ‘canning jar foods’ these days.
    thanks for the rest of the blog post, but, well, the ticks almost wiped the rest from my mind. I’ll need to go back and reread… to a certain point.

  41. Oh, Squam sounds wonderful …. and looks beautiful … and the car trip sounds worth it all on its own. Must try out new daydream …
    Don’t you think the UK would be a good location for a European version?
    Cannot ignore the tick issue, though — we only have little pathetic ones in the UK, not dangerous as far as I know, which I remember my (doctor) stepfather removing by touching them with a blown-out match (yes, I will read the proper instructions someone posted, and not mess around with matches in future!). How come my lovely American husband never warned me about ticks and took me to the USA twice in a complete state of innocence??? I shudder in retrospect …

  42. I really want to go to Squam!! It looks like so much fun! maybe eventually…
    P.S. If you ever get a tick again (which I hope you dont), light a match then blow it out and press it on the tick. It will back its head out so its easier to pick it up.

  43. You have every right to be concerned and excited about ticks. A lovely girl here at church is fighting hard to overcome meningitis caused by a tick.
    Everything about Squam is wonderful–the ticks and mosquitoes remind us it is indeed reality and not just a daydream.
    I always tell my family the journey is part of the wonderful experience as your car picnic certainly proves.

  44. Looks like Squam was fantastic. So glad, cause 11 hours in the car is a long drive in my book.
    And ticks, yeah ugly, scary, dangerous. But at least they’re easy to spot, remove, and get on with life. For my money, fleas are worse. Around here they infest fast, transmit plague AND can cause your pets to get tapeworms too (ask me how I know. Go on, I dare ya. ;-)). They say the roaches will be the only ones that survive but I bet the roaches will be saluting the fleas before it’s all over!

  45. I grew up as a mosquito and chigger magnet, but no ticks in my town.
    A little of the glow just went off Squam.
    On the other hand, I might be for hire as the sacrificial tick attractor for a Squam scholarship. It could be worth it. Maybe. I’d have to see that picture first.

  46. That lunch looks amazing – just lovely.
    I would almost accuse you of planning the whole trip just to indoctrinate another Knitter (that would be Marlowe), but I can see the flora and fauna are what drives this.
    I hope you are there next year – because I will be there – I’m making a plan – it looks like a slice of heaven.
    That is one perfect baby too – wow!

  47. Both my sons, my dog, and I have had Lyme disease. We clearly harbor it in our yard. My son is about to go on a cross country bike ride, so I have gotten him a tick key to take with him. We keep those little keys and “tick spoons” in the bathrooms! They are a hard thing, with a v-slit, so you slip the v under and around the tick’s neck, so that when you push towards the tick’s back, out he comes!

  48. Hope this doesn’t sound too dreadfully personal – which means of course it will – but what I really love in these photos are the images of real women, in real women’s bodies, real women’s hair and skin, and not a stinking pushup bra between you. You glow. You are gorgeous, each and every one of you, and you did it all with the assistance of good food, good company, some good alcohol and rafts of delicious fibre – not with cosmetics of fashion. Thanks for representing!

  49. Ticks and lack of dignity:
    My nephew was 16, 6’4 and “all grown up”. He spent (and spends) a lot of time in The Bush (as we call the Woods up here, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula).
    One day, after being out in The Bush, he went to my mother’s house. While in the bathroom he discovered a tick on his scrotum. He had to have his grandmother remove it. He has been mercilessly teased about having his grandma going after his balls with tweezers ever since.

  50. #1 If you have to live in a car for 11 hours, that’s the way to do it. 2# Squam looks gorgeous! #3 Ticks are gross. (glad no chance of Lyme disease.)

  51. I have lived in tick country nearly my whole life, and I STILL flip out over finding one of the nasty little buggers on me. The only thing worse than finding a tick on you is finding a slightly(or more)PLUMP tick on you . . . if you get my meaning.

  52. A few years back my roommate was working at an archaeological site in Virginia and she went home, took off her socks and boots to discover what looked like black socks on her legs from all the ticks, she had to scrape them off with a credit card. She is now known as the queen of ticks.
    There are worse things than ticks out there.

  53. eek! i somehow posted my comment to the wrong page!… let me go see if i can find it, cos it makes NO sense elsewhere but here…

  54. ok, this is what i meant to post here that ended up elsewhere: oh i just want to kiss and hug that baby! then, i will hand her back… just need the occasional fix. sigh… 🙂

  55. First, Squam is gorgeous! I haven’t been there in years, but I periodically watch On Golden Pond to recapture the beauty (that’s Squam).
    Second, I hate to tell you this, but there is growing evidence that other types of ticks can also carry Lyme (Not sure if that’s a new development, or a new discovery.) Either way, if the tick was attached and eating, keep an eye out for that bullseye rash. Do NOT let Lyme get ahead of you!

  56. I HATE ticks. We have them around where I live and I’ve only ever found one on me but I fear finding one on Little Man. Of course, now we’re going to be moving to the ocean so I don’t know that we’ll have the same risk of ticks there that we do in southern Wisconsin…

  57. i live near woods and have a cat who brings in a tick now and then. coming out of the shower the other day without glasses (or sight) i thought i was looking at a scratch and even touched it….put my glasses on and ……TICK!!!!…..I’m still not over it.

  58. I got rocky mountain spotted fever once. Seriously not fun. Boo ticks.

  59. There’s an abundance of ticks in the southern Ontario these days. You can buy special tweezers to remove them, especially the heads. UGH!!

  60. I’m so glad you had a lovely visit in my wonderful state of NH! Squam is beautiful and only an hour’s drive from where I live, but sadly I don’t get there hardly ever, but mostly because I live on a similarly beautiful lake 🙂 Sorry about the ticks. We had a particularly mild winter for us which means a bumper crop of ticks and mosquitos this year 🙁

  61. Ticks aside (gross! blecch!), can someone post the pasta salad and crackers recipes? Looks like a great trip!

  62. Squam looks beautiful, but, OMG – that baby!!! What a doll! BTW, how cold was the lake – pretty early in the season for lake swimming – even south of the border! Judy

  63. What a beautiful place! And that squishy, happy baby leaves me breathless. …and wool everywhere. Ya think ya found heaven? Thanks so much.

  64. I agree, Squam is sooooo magical! And I feel lucky to have been able to spend a few days there learning new knitterly techniques, eating yummy food, walking gloriously green paths, making new friends, finding (and executing!) yarn bombings, taking pictures of lovely flowers and people and buildings and docks and water and sky and trees, sitting by the fire and knitting for hours on end and just soaking up the blissful beauty. Despite the ticks, despite the bear, despite the rain, despite the cold, despite collapsing docks, despite getting lost in the woods (I think we all did it!)….we experienced such joy!

  65. I am so insanely jealous that you had such a fantastic time at Squam. I’ve been wanting to go for the almost 4 years I’ve lived exactly 1 hour away and have not yet managed it.
    One of the top 10 reasons my husband has us moving back to the West coast is a total unapologetic fear and loathing of ticks. We’ve had a ton of ‘problems’ with them since living here including 3 weeks of antibiotics for our 4 year old son. No laissez-faire attitude here. Glad yours weren’t deer ticks. Thanks for making me laugh out loud with #17

  66. So fun to see you at the Art Fair! I’m glad you got to swim in the lake; I barely caught a glimpse of it. Next year I’d love to earlier and take some classes. We were so lucky with the weather as it’s been so rainy in New England this spring.
    Too bad about the tick(s). Sounds like you bravely soldiered on.

  67. It appears that you had a fantastic time. Yep ticks are icky, really disgusting and gross. But I swear not all that common in many parts of the US. I hate ’em. I use DEET in tick infested locales. Smelly toxic chemicals, but never a tick to be found. I used to do 10 day backpacking trips in heavily infested areas and managed to avoid them. (My marked up copy of the trail mapped is annotated “bug filled hell” in places.) I credit my survival to modern chemistry.

  68. I live in Manitoba and I’m a biologist, which means I get to be outside but also that I have a had ticks crawling on me a lot. I screamed the first time too but I’m a lot more complacent (don’t get me wrong, I still think they are gross). There is a phrase that I use to describe that feeling when you think you have a tick but don’t: “phantom tick”, as in: AAAAAAH PHANTOM TICKS CRAWLING UP MY LEGS!!! 😉 I’m just thankful they don’t stick around all summer!

  69. Wonderful post, loved the photos. Ticks? Freaky!
    But help – what is that lovely cardigan in the last photo, with the big cables down the front?! I’m knee-deep in startitis, and that cardi is calling my name!

  70. Thank you, Stephanie, for traveling so far to share your wit and wisdom with us. Though you undoubtedly had the very best of companions, 11 hours x 2 is a LONG drive! I loved both my classes with you, taking home all kinds of new ideas and techniques. Squam was a wonderful experience, and I am very glad you were part of it. Be well.

  71. Beautiful photos, and it looks like a lovely time. I do so want to participate in a knitting retreat sometime in my future!!
    We have ticks in BC. I have never had one, and I never worry too much when I am hiking 🙂 They are creepy, ugly little creature though.
    Have fun with your “being back home” chores!

  72. I got a tick about 30 years ago — same reaction. I was a smoker at the time and had a roommate who had experience with them. She had me light a cigarette and then took the lit end and warmed the tick’s butt. It backed right out! Remember for next year’s Squam. You can do the same thing with a lit then blown out match head.

  73. EEW! Night hike at CA nat’l park and then something moving in my jeans leg. Just what husbands are for: finding and killing ticks. I never want to see another one!!!

  74. Wow…that looks amazing and awesome. Squam that is.
    And, btw, I’m ‘Merican and ticks still freak me out. So did the wolf spider that jumped out of my daughter’s closet onto me, possibly leading me to teach my four children (…well, at least the 3 talking) some inappropriate-for-company words.

  75. I’ve enjoyed my time in NH in the past, but now…..ewwww…..even though there was a report of a kid getting a tick in a school yard here in Whitby, just east of Toronto! so no where is safe!
    What a wonderful time you must have had, and I’m really glad to see I’m not the only other person to wonder why that precious baby wasn’t rear facing. It may be law to only 20lb AND one year, but most safety organizations (and some European countries) recommend at least two years 🙂

  76. I for one am going to concentrate on you swimming instead of blogging: good for you!

  77. Just to add to all the above: Ticks are hard to kill once removed from your person. Dropping them in a small vial of rubbing alcohol, lighter fluid, or high-proof vodka will do the trick — but can be dangerous, because these are all highly flammable. Cap the vial immediately after dropping the tick in — they are light enough to float, and they are Olympic-class jumpers.
    If you have a smoker handy (I know, also dangerous), you can kill a tick by dropping it in an ashtray and immediately burning it with the lit end of a cigar or cigarette. No, a candle flame or lit match often won’t work. Ticks will often get out of the way of an open flame before any real harm is done.
    If the above won’t work for you, it is best to squirt some liquid soap or dishwashing liquid into the toilet before removing the tick. Drop the newly-removed tick in the toilet bowl and flush immediately. Pray the damn thing went down the drain. Flush again, just for added insurance. Maybe a third time too — remember, the little f***ers are light enough to float.
    And if you run a fever in the next 10 to 14 days, go see your doctor. Insist on blood testing to make sure you didn’t come down with Lyme’s or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Klingon flu or some such.

  78. The photos are all beautiful, but all I could see was Marlowe in the car. Beautiful baby Marlowe really needs to be in a rear-facing car seat till she is 2 years old! Perhaps you just turned her forward briefly for the photo-op, but please please please turn her back!
    Sincerely, a pediatrician from Minnesota

  79. Please read all comments!
    It’s not true that you can’t get Lyme disease from deer ticks:
    It is a vector for several diseases of animals, including humans (Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, etc) and is known as the deer tick owing to its habit of parasitizing the white-tailed deer.

  80. “Better a tick than a bear. You can’t use tweezers on a bear.- Posted by: Duffy at June 12, 2012 7:20 PM”
    Sure you can – but it’ll take days to pull out every single hair. And then, what’ll you do with an angry, naked bear?

  81. I’m agreeing with Helen. We need you to do Squam in Switzerland. I have an excellent natural tick/mosquito spray that not only works, but makes you smell like eucalyptus, so no worries on that front! It is also very pretty here.

  82. Rolling on the floor over the tick story. Have lived in tick country; despise them. SOOO glad I live in NW Oregon now where I have only seen two ticks in 22 years!

  83. Who cares about ticks when baby Marlowe is in danger of serious neck/spine injury in that forward-facing car seat?
    Mother of two under 2, both rear-facing.

  84. Ticks suck. In many ways actually. This US chick who had to endure family vacations in the woods hates ticks but you learn to live with them, much like the other blood suckers mosquitoes. They are a side effect of the fun of being able to enjoy real nature as opposed to the landscaped nature that seems so popular as of late.
    Looks like you had a blast and as per usual I envy you.

  85. Swimming would win over blogging most days, I think.
    I haven’t had a tick in years, but they were a regular occurrence when I was a kid. I have a weird scar between my jubblies where one had to be removed with a big sticky plaster thing by a nurse.

  86. One summer long ago my husband and I traveled from Hannibal along the Mississippi River all the way to New Orleans. On the way we took a lovely walk by the great river under a full moon, and then had dinner at a local cafe. I felt something weird in my hair and asked hubby to look, he said, “It’s a tick.” I started jumping up and down shrieking, “get it off! get it off! get it off!” and ran into the ladies bathroom, where he could not, actually, enter to get it off. So I ran back out and he got it off. Our waitress said, “Shoot, I pull them off my kids all the time.”

  87. This American is definitely not laissez faire about ticks. I can honesty say that ticks are just disgusting!!! Gross!!! They just give me the he-bees. We used to have Guinea Hens and since bugs like ticks are their favorite food, we didn’t have ticks for years. The Guinea Hens ate them all. Well children get older and lose interest and the Hens got older too and after many years they were no more. So fast forward a few Henless years. There are tons of ticks on my property now, just like everywhere else in this area. Fortunately for me ticks don’t seem to like me, but they sure like my dog. I’ve gotten pretty good at removing them using a handy dandy little tool I got from my vet. That little plastic tool makes tick removal easy and painless, but it’s still extremely gross and disgusting. YUCK! Ticks and leeches….They have to be among the most disgusting and nasty things on the planet! Sorry you have to find out the hard way how gross ticks are!

  88. Totally disgusting, yes. I carry a tick spoon, special device to remove said creature in its entirety, without touching it. There are also tick “keys”. Same idea. Of course, now you won’t need one, urban creature.

  89. What a trip!! What a baby! The only negative is the total envy you have created for me! Squam just seems to be a knitter’s dream…and, I will dream on. Thanks for sharing such a fabulous experience…

  90. Loved your post. Loved your class. Love that you have most certainly extended the shelf life of my elbows. And of course, loved the image of you and Amanda wandering parallel in the yarn-bombed wilderness (sorry).
    And, a big thank you to your great readers/commenters whose comments also inspire. Flash to Donna barking at three kids: “if you don’t sit still and let me check you for ticks, you could end up with a weird scar between your jubblies from the nurse’s sticky plaster thing!”
    Such good stuff. Guess I’ll work now but I won’t be happy about it. Your post and postcards, your laughter and my learning, those things I can be happy about.
    Take good care.

  91. Lovely photos – what a beautiful place! Just to reply to the comment about ticks in the UK – they’re on the increase here and unfortunately some of them do carry Lyme disease as well. Horrible things!

  92. Welcome back! I missed you. Lovely pics, glad you had fun, looks wonderful. Manitoba has ticks. This year, lots of them (depends on the weather in springtime: lots of ticks, not many mosquitoes; lots of skeeters, not many ticks. Fact. Another fact: I’m moving to Ontario where I only have to worry about blackflies. Gaaaaaaah!

  93. Sorry about the ticks, but thanks for sharing all of the lovely photos! And thanks for the PPS…I was already mentally typing a comment to please get to the doctor in case they were deer ticks. That can be seriously nasty stuff.

  94. Wonderful pictures. Love the baby…so happy! I’m glad you had such a good time. I appreciate your wonderful blog!

  95. Rest assured, all yarn bombs were removed and Rockywold was returned to its pristine state. Until next spring. Oh the plans I have for next spring.

  96. hahahahahaha! Thank you! It is a beautiful place and it is my hope to get to attend some day!
    Thanks for the wonderful blog!

  97. Ah, cheryl aka nicewitch, I have been laughing over your comment for hours. Mental picture won’t go away.

  98. I swear one of these days I’m going to send my sign in sheet early enough to actually get into one of your classes. While I definitely enjoyed not having all knitting classes, I would like to learn more.

  99. I have spent the better part of my adult life tramping though Northeastern US woods, and have never emerged with a tick. And here in Central PA, we’re lousy with ticks (and this year, alas, snakes, which can [shudder] keep me out of the woods). And you don’t even have to be in the woods to pick up a tick.

  100. Oh my gosh. Squam is beautiful. Your friends are beautiful. Even the ticks are– uh, not beautiful.

  101. geology field camp. the ‘patriarch’ started every camp every summer letting students settle back in the sage like smug 20-somethings while he droned on about rocks and history of the area for hours in his soft gravelly southern voice. then he’d close with a sigh, saunter off into the distance, and murmur something about ticks. pretty soon, no more smug 20-somethings. we’re all looking about uneasily, surreptitiously scratching, picking at each other’s hair, while patriarch and the TAs are snickering over their scotch back at camp.
    ticks *shiver*

  102. I’m sorry, the place & yarn is beautiful but I am completely distracted but the baby in a forward facing car seat. This is completely unsafe! Please turn that baby around! Please, please, please research and educate yourself on the safety of rear facing child seats.

  103. This is very important! Lyme disease is endemic in ticks in North America. This means you can get Lyme disease from ANY tick now. The classic “bull’s-eye” pattern doesn’t always occur, or is sometimes faint, or can be fleeting. If you have any symptoms of achiness or fatigue, see a Dr., pronto. This is important enough that I might actually bother you by direct email.
    Trust me, I’ve been dealing with ticks for eons.

  104. “For all those posting home remedies other than tweezers Please just follow these directions, yes it takes some delicacy, and yes, you have to get close to the tick, but using other remedies such as matches, cotton balls soaked in solutions etc can cause the tick to purge (vomit) into your bloodstream before ( and if at all) it detaches putting you at higher risk for exposure to illness.”
    Posted by: Meredith at June 12, 2012 6:05 PM
    This is what I was thinking as well. Also, supposedly there is not much risk of Lyme’s until the tick has been attached for more than 24 hours.

  105. I abhor ticks. Found on on my neck – a hold over from dog, horse, garden??? Horse wear tick drops, dogs get sprayed, people use full view mirrors to check their body after hiking or camping. Creepy beyond creepy. Good thing Squam has so many other pretties like pom-poms in the woods. Maybe a trail of them should be put out for those directionally challenged knitters?

  106. What a wonderful post! Lovely and witty and charming! I am visiting from Amanda (and such a pretty first name she has!) and will visit again soon. I love that you will be pen pals with her (even if she does not know this yet!) Your traveling groups looks like a festive one ~ of like minds and like loves.
    Side note on ticks: my husband has struggled terribly with the side effects of late stage chronic lyme disease ~ undiagnosed for a number of years ~ ticks are B.A.D. and nothing to fool around with ~ so your shrieks and excitement on finding them was well warranted in my book!

  107. Soon, I hope, I will join you in June at Squam!
    Love the pictures and yes ticks are bad and gross and make you itch. Use an antibiotic cream (neosporin like) on the tick bite and it will heal faster along with a bandaid over the bite. Tick bites are gross.
    (Or maybe another knitting retreat!)

  108. I live in CA (california) and thought that ticks only lived in the south and the east of the US. Until last week I didn’t know that they lived here. I’ve caught 12. 6 were on my son after a scout hike. 3 were in the washer after I washed his clothes. and 3 showed up days later climbing on the wall and SITTING ON MY BED. I can absolutely imagine the scene while removing those 2 ticks in your cabin. I’m getting itchy just thinking about it again.

  109. That little Marlowe is the perfect baby doll. there should be a doll made that looks exactly like her !! they dont make cute larger size baby dolls any more.

  110. i’m sad to say that I do not have a leissez faire
    attitude about ticks. they are evil and the one thing i’m truly afraid of. Go on you for handling it so well. I ones found one on my head at the boyfriends family home and just went in to the kitchen where all these people who just met me were (the live in a little wooded area) and just said “Tick. Get it off, get it off, get it off… ect” as they looked a me like i was crazy.

  111. Sounds like you had a lovely time and I am envious of your traveling adventures. Your car rides sound much more fun than mine.
    As soon as I saw your picture of the woods I thought, “Hmm…wonder if they had problems w/ticks?” Your reactions reminded me of the day my mom talked about going swimming in a stream and ending up w/leeches on her legs! And I thought ticks were bad – getting the heebie jeebies just thinking about it!

  112. i love you and your posts but it was beyond stalker love to see a picture of you with camera on face on amanda’s blog and one of her on yours!!!!

  113. ick-ticks!! I just had to shave my poor morkie so we could see them easier. this New England crazy a** weather has not been kind to us in any way! At least you didn’t have a bear knocking on your door! what a gorgeous landscape to spend time with good friends and knitting, I know how peaceful it is to just knit in the park with my daughters (when they sit still long enough) so it had to be amazing to be totally immersed in it all. maybe I’ll get to go….someday!

  114. I’d love to know more about that baby blanket, it is awesome!
    Re: ticks: one year (2001) was really a bad year in Texas for ticks.. we lost our pyr… we may have overdone it with the tick dips & on hindsight, we should have shaved him… 🙁 took about 3 years to feel comfortable enough about getting another dog… (now we have 3)

  115. Oh, ticks. We have ’em in Indiana. I can’t tell you how many of those vile critters I’ve pulled off of dogs/ponies/barn cats/siblings.
    I think if you know them as a kid, it’s no big deal. I’ve never seen an adult meeting a tick for the first time who didn’t completely lose it.

  116. First off, I love this blog with an unholy passion, and I wish, wish, wish that I could go to at least ONE of the wonderful teaching events that you’re at. Maybe someday…
    Another thing I love is adorable babies, and baby Marlowe is absolutely wonderful!! Which is why I’ve got to speak up, as a pediatrician…
    If I recall correctly, Marlowe is about 9 months old. There’s really, really, really good, strong evidence that babies should be rear-facing in car seats until they’re two years old; there is a fivevold increase in serious injury if they’re forward-facing and in a car accident. 18 years ago when I had my first child, the “rule” was they had to be 20 lbs plus able to sit alone; that has been out of date advice for over 10 years (10 years ago we said to stay rear-facing until the first birthday). The evidence for 2 years of rear-facing has been out for about 2 years now. Yes, I know the babies don’t like being rear-facing, and they love being forward-facing, but the risk is huge. (And, as I like to say, if we let kids do everything they like, they’d be driving by the time they were 3…) I just felt I had to comment on this, for Marlowe’s sake and the sake of any other baby whose parent sees your blog.

  117. Your reaction to ticks sounds like my reaction when, after we moved to Louisiana and I’d been hacking through the jungle’s attempt to overgrow the back yard again, I discovered a leech on my leg. Apparently I was not only screaming but also spinning in hysterical circles. So my family tells me; all I remember is finding the thing and then LOSING MY MIND. I can deal with ticks, but leeches? Never again in this lifetime, not if I have any say in the matter!

  118. OH…that was so funny. I bet you all had a wonderful time and the food looked awesome…Glad you had a great time and the tick thing was very funny. I have grown up with those and its nothing here in Texas to have them. You made my day!! Glad you all were tick free on the way home.

  119. From ages 5 to 10, when visiting my grandparents in Louisiana, the nightly routine after my bath was to stand in front of the fireplace (it was always lit – even in summer) so Grandma could pick the ticks off of me. As she and I got older, I got more pinches than tick removals because I began to get moles and she couldn’t tell the difference.
    Thanks for the tick story; brought back memories from 50+ years ago.
    As always, I treasure you and your tales!

  120. loved your story with the pictures. (also your posing ones later on ) I live vicariously through your stories.
    ticks – I had plenty as a child, it was a weekly occurrence at our house. My mom always smeared butter on them. Then they can’t breathe and they let go, at which point you can pluck them off you. It takes a few minutes, but it works.

  121. A quick follow-up with the solution to killing ticks. Mitacide, normally used for ear mites in animals (ticks are mites). It is relatively inexpensive and available from your veterinarian. Just a couple of drops of the creamy liquid on the varmint = dead tick the next morning!
    Hope you never have to use it, Stephanie.

  122. Just a heads up for you, there are ticks in Ontario they just aren’t plentiful in Toronto. There are lots of ticks in Nova
    Scotia my friend had one on her belly button! You may have heard her scream from Greenwwod NS in Toronto when she found it 🙂

  123. I popped on SouleMama after work and saw her picture of you, so then I had to rush straight over here to see your picture of her. Now I will go finish reading her Squam post….

  124. I grew up in an area so dense with ticks that when we would let the dog out, we’d have to pick off as many as 30 of them when she came back in. I have had one tucked up underneath my left breast. I’m still screaming a little, inside, over that one. Now I live in New York City, the only sensible ending to this story.

  125. Snakes? SNAKES? Ticks I can deal with, but not snakes. My friend had one in her garage, she was telling me. “Someone was screaming and I thought, who on earth is doing all that screaming?”, she said. “Then I thought, Oh, it’s me. I should stop.” She told me this in our Accounting class and we were both rofl at the end of it. Still, if it had been me in my garage with a snake, I’d have been screaming too.

  126. Thanks for the pictures! I grew up very near there, and tho’ I haven’t lived there in 25 years, I still miss it. Fortunately, I will be visiting there in July for a couple of weeks. If I wasn’t, I’m pretty sure I would’ve tried to get to Squam this year. Maybe next year…….

  127. Must be warming up–in former times, when i was growing up, there weren’t any ticks in New Hampshire. Funny, though, the last ones i personally encountered were about 10 years ago in Canada. Saskatchawan to be more precise. When they reach Alaska, we really will be in trouble!

  128. One summer was so bad I kept a tick counter on my blog sidebar. I was constantly finding them. I found one this year on my dining room wall. They don’t read the websites that says they stay in long grass & woods, I’ll tell you that. I was diagnosed with Lyme over the winter. It’s really not fun, and I call doxycycline (the treatment) the devil’s drug. It’s less fun than the Lyme.
    Marlowe was in my first class. She was remarkably placid, for being around so many power tools.

  129. So glad you enjoyed the yarn-bombing – my friends Jen and Kat organized, executed and cleaned up after (leave only footprints…) I adored seeing baby Marlowe at meals – she was the sweetest, smiliest baby and brought out my desperate need to say Wuzza Wuzza to babies.
    For those readers who want Squam in Europe, there’s one in Italy for the first time this year:
    It’s always great to see you smiling, knitting, and roaming the woods – glad you didn’t encounter the bear!

  130. TICKS?! I’ve never had one, but they scare/gross the heck out of me. My dog used to get them when we lived in Vienna. I’d pet her and there’d be this lump. Then I’d shutter, tell my parents, and go hide under the covers. It’s been about 13 years since then and I’m still traumatized.

  131. I have lived in the Midwest my entire life. I deal with ticks on a very regular basis. We do nightly tick checks of me, the dogs and the kids. I still feel/react the same way you did to your first one.
    One thing that has lessened the ticks on our property, the adoption of six chickens. They like the little buggers and provide the most amazingly deep yellow yolks because they are well fed.

  132. Gorgeous post, thanks. We live on the south coast of the UK and my one-year old got a tick behind her ear from crawling in our garden! I felt like such a cr#ppy Mum, but she loves it so much. At least if it happens again I won’t freak quite so much.

  133. A lovely recap, Stephanie. I so enjoyed meeting all the Canadian contingents- you are all so lovely and kind (and especially good with wee ones). Elise now expects us to play the “soup game” with her at most meals. She wants someone there to make a big stink out of the fact that she is eating all her food. She thinks its hilarious, thank you for that.
    Oh, and after all of his worries about ticks, Joe also found one on his leg. It was not yet attached and he was able to swat it off. When it started running away he stepped on it to kill it off. It kept running. Finally he grabbed the cabin ice pick and skewered it. It remained in our cabin the rest of the week to warn the others that ticks were not welcome at Oakridge Cabin.

  134. You know, i never have commented on your blog before, but I follow it religiously! I love the love and happiness that you share with us along with your wonderful knitting. You have my sympathies with the whole tick thing. We get there here a lot in MT. They are gross no matter how you look at them. UGH! Hugs for your bravery! =)

  135. Ticks are gross. We deal with them all the time here. While not all ticks carry lyme they all can carry SOMETHING, Erlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme and so on.
    I’ve had lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from ticks. We try to cover (and if I know I’m going in a tick rich environment I even will wear bug spray – hate ticks.
    If you feel off in the next few weeks be sure to let the doctor know you were bitten.

  136. Lovely pics, but mama, please please please turn your baby rear-facing in her carseat! In most states it is not even legal to turn her before she is both 1yo AND 20lbs. If you need some inspiration, look up Joel’s Journey.

  137. We have wood ticks in Manitoba. The trick is to cover the tick with vaseline if they’ve already bitten in. They can’t breathe and they just back right out (head and all) and you can flick ’em off/burn them/drown them (or whatever pleases you) after that.

  138. Oh how I love squam and the way you have captured it here. So wonderful. And how I would love to come on a car ride with you. What a delectable lunch you had indeed. Beautiful photographs!

  139. Squam=lovely.
    Ticks=the opposite of lovely.
    If I ever find a tick on my body, someone better hit me over the head and knock me out. Bleah. >

  140. As a nearly 46 year old American who has spent nearly all of my life bar 4 years in America, I have never had a tick and I assure you, I would respond the same way.

  141. Glad it wasn’t a deer tick. We have lots in our area and do NOT have a casual attitude about them. We have a friend with Lyme’s and it’s a horrible, debilitating disease. I sympathize with you horror and disgust at finding a tick on your body.

  142. I’m late to the party, but was spending this evening catching up on my two favourite blogs and was enchanted to see them collide so beautifully! I don’t know either of you, but I’m really happy that you’ve found one another.

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